GREENSBURG, Ind. (WISH) - Federal investigators are moving on to the next stage of trying to determine the cause of a Decatur County plane crash.
Officials with the National Transportation Safety Board said Thursday they will continue their investigation in Washington, D.C.
Four people were killed Sunday night when the plane they were traveling in crashed 1 ½ miles away from the airport in Greensburg. The two couples had been vacationing in Florida with friends. The six friends were in another plane, and NTSB officials said Thursday that plane tried to land in Greensburg 20 minutes before the crash but rerouted to Columbus. No radio communication was made between the two planes.
So far, the plane has checked out OK. Investigators found no malfunctions, including any that would have bee tied to fuel lines or landing gear, NTSB officials said.
One witness told the NTSB they saw a low-flying aircraft, and the NTSB said it plans to interview two others.
The pilot, Don Horan, had logged 398 flight hours, including 52 hours in the type of plane involved in the crash. He also logged 29 hours in the type of weather — or simulated weather — that was in Decatur County at the time of the wreck. Weather conditions and Horan's actions are still a part of the NTSB's investigation.
Runway lights in Greensburg were operational, NTSB officials said, though it was unclear if Horan tried to activate them. Greensburg is an unmanned airport.
"He's given clearance for the instrument approach by Indianapolis control, and once he starts the approach, at that point it basically falls on the pilot's responsibility to fly that approach," NTSB Deputy Regional Director Dan Baker said. "And then, if he either needs to land or go missed approach at that point, then he contacts Indianapolis."
No further communications with Indianapolis were ever made.
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